THE AWARD-winning pianist and composer  Ananda Sukarlan will be visiting Ambon to perform a concert at Auditorium IAKN, on June 17, 2023. Ambon, the capital of the Maluku province, has been awarded by UNESCO in 2019 the title as one of the World Cities of Music. Other cities include Liverpool, Hamamatsu, Kansas City, London, Mannheim, Sevilla and others.

Hailed by the Sydney Morning Herald as “one of the world’s leading pianists at the forefront of championing new piano music”, Ananda Sukarlan will bring his musical colleagues to perform with him: two members of the G20 Orchestra that Sukarlan was appointed as the founder last year, and winners of the Ananda Sukarlan Award (ASA) competition.

The G20 members are the Japanese french horn player Emi Akiyama and the Spanish flutist Carmen Caballero. The ASA winners are soprano Inggrid Patricia, baritone Jonathan Jedine Santoso, 11-year-old cellist Chloe Lukito and 17-year-old clarinettist Sean Nicholas Alexander.

The concert, supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology in collaboration with Ambon’s Badan Pelestarian Kebudayaan (Center of Preservation of Cultural Heritage) and Institut Agama Kristen Negeri (IAKN, or the State Christian Religion Institute) will be held on June 17th at 4 p.m.

Although the concert will be held at a Christian Institute, quite a dose of Islamic influence will be identified in the program. Emi will  play the “Adzan” (call for Islamic prayer) cadenza for solo french horn from Sukarlan’s epic orchestral masterpiece “The Voyage to Marege’ “, and soprano Inggrid Patricia will sing the exquisite poem “Ini Senja Mengapa Nyeri?” (This Dusk, Why So Painful?) by Tatan Daniel, set into music by Sukarlan with many melodic curves taken from the adzan too.

“Yeah, I as a Moslem, am deeply touched by the beauty of the Islamic culture, and in many of my works I am strongly influenced by it. My passion is also to introduce the greatness of Islamic cultural history to my audience including the non-Muslim ones and hope that it will increase the tolerance for differences, since all religions have their own high philosophy, beauty and artistic achievements”, said this composer who will turn 55 years old this Saturday, 10th of June.

In this concert, Ananda who has always been an avid reader and a passionate lover of literature, will perform his latest settings of poems by Ambonese poets: “Romansa Banda Neira” by Emma Hanubun, “Batang Air Eti” by Roymon Lemosol and “Yang Tak Sempat Aku Katakan” by Eko Saputra Poceratu.

Apart from his own original compositions, Sukarlan will also perform music by other composers and reworked into virtuosic chamber music works, such as “Mutahariana” (music by H. Mutahar) for clarinet, french horn & piano and Variations on “Himne Guru” (music by Sartono) for flute, clarinet, cello & piano, as well as a Fantasy on the Bugis Folksong “Indo’ Logo” for clarinet, cello & piano.

Ambonese audience will also have the great privilege of listening (again) for the first time the poems by the forgotten great poets of Indonesia, Putu Oka Sukanta and the late S. Anantaguna, both were imprisoned without trial together with hundreds of other artists during the post-Soekarno era. These superb and so well-crafted poems were written during their painful years in prison, and set to music too by Sukarlan. [sources/]